No. 6

Initial Public Offering by GeoCities

One of the year's hottest stories was Internet mania on Wall Street, and helping fuel the frenzy was GeoCities, the Marina del Rey-based Web company.

After four years of nothing but red ink and hopeful prognostications, GeoCities went public on Aug. 11 and suddenly became a $982 million market-cap company. The IPO represented a 15 percent stake in the company, which bills itself as the world's largest community of personal Web sites on the Internet.

GeoCities gives its more than 2 million members free home pages and e-mail, and makes its revenue from advertising on its site. Shares soared by 119 percent on the first day of trading to reach a high of $37.31. Over the subsequent months, GeoCities' stock has reflected the market's general direction, reaching up past $50 per share and crashing down to $13.25. As of last week, the stock hovered around the $40 mark.

GeoCities, along with Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch, is considered one of the pillars of L.A.'s new-media industry. If these companies can continue their success, it is believed they will give birth to other Internet firms.

Sara Fisher

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